May 23, 2014

Moral Injury in the Congregation

Moral injury is a very important topic. While most of the research is currently concerning war vets (and hence the research funding), it is recognized that moral injury can happen to anyone who is traumatized or, especially someone who traumatizes another. It’s also a new way to frame sin, guilt, and shame, and puts care for these folks squarely in the pastor’s realm.  In a sense, it’s another way of talking about soul care. 

Moral injury describes how people are changed through exposure to violence and the inflicting of
harm and death on others resulting in profound mental, emotional, and spiritual struggle.

Moral injury can occur when persons betray or are betrayed. When they find themselves in a morally comprising situation with no way out. War is an obvious cause because soldiers have to kill other soldiers but sometimes civilians are also hurt. This is especially common in guerrilla warfare.So even if soldiers comes home physically and emotionally home (no PTSD), their spirits can be seriously diminished. But moral injury also occurs when anyone hurts another. Sin chips away at the soul.

Need a little help from you. Does this topic interest you? Do you see it as important? Do you see moral injury in your congregation? Would you like to learn more and how you can help these persons?

Grace, Kathy

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